This week, travel startups Travelio, Refundit, and Nowaday together announced more than $31 million in funding. Of particular note is Amadeus' backing of Refundit. The startup offers visitors to European Union countries a mobile app to speed up their claims for rebates for value-added taxes paid on retail shopping.
Travel Startup Funding This Week
Each week we round up travel startups that have recently received or announced funding. Please email Senior Travel Tech Editor Tim Mullaney at [email protected] if you have funding news.
This week, travel startups announced more than $31 million in funding.
>>Travelio, a booking site that helps people find temporary housing in urban areas, has raised an $18 million Series B round.
Pavilion Capital, which is a unit of the Singapore government holding company Temasek, and Gobi Partners, the Chinese-based investor in early-stage travel tech companies worldwide, led the round.
Two years ago, Travelio had raised $4 million in Series A investment. The Jakarta-based online booking agency works with property owners and developers to furnish vacant apartment units and rent them out on either a short-term or extended-stay basis.
>>Refundit, whose mobile app helps travelers visiting Europe claim their value added tax refund more easily, said it had raised a $9.8 million Series A investment round.
Amadeus Ventures, the startup investment program of travel technology group Amadeus, led the round. Portugal Ventures, a state-owned venture capital firm, also participated.
Ziv Tirosh, co-founder and CEO of Refundit, previously founded directions service Waze.
Travelers can use Refundit to take a photo of their receipts, boarding pass, and passport, and then just digitally apply for their VAT refund, instead of having to collect paperwork and stand in line at the last airport of their trip while in the European Union.
“The app improves the traveler experience enormously and adds value at every step of the VAT reclaim process,” said Suzanna Chiu, head of Amadeus Ventures.
Refundit previously raised a $2.5 million seed round. The Israel-based startup won this year in a category in the United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) Travel Tech Startup competition.
>>Nowaday, a premium city tour company, raised $3.5 million in seed funding.
Greycroft, Pritzker Group VC, and Raine Group participated. Nowaday retrofits cars from the 1920s and then uses them to provide tours in New York City.
A driver wearing clothes from the era can pick up passengers. Each car fits up to four passengers and costs about $200 for a one-hour tour of the city guided by the driver, said Nowaday co-founders Jaime Getto and Heather Stupi.
Skift Cheat Sheet:
We define a startup as a company formed to test and build a repeatable and scalable business model. Few companies meet that definition. The rare ones that do often attract venture capital. Their funding rounds come in waves.
Seed capital is money used to start a business, often led by angel investors and friends or family.
Series A financing is typically drawn from venture capitalists. The round aims to help a startup’s founders make sure that their product is something that customers truly want to buy.
Series B financing is mainly about venture capitalist firms helping a company grow faster. These fundraising rounds can assist in recruiting skilled workers and developing cost-effective marketing.
Series C financing is ordinarily about helping a company expand, such as through acquisitions. In addition to VCs, hedge funds, investment banks, and private equity firms often participate.
Series D, E and beyond These mainly mature businesses and the funding round may help a company prepare to go public or be acquired. A variety of types of private investors might participate.
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Photo credit: Co-founders of Travelio, the alternative accommodations booking site based in Asia, as shown from left, chief operating officer Christie Tjong, chief executive officer Hendry Rusli, and chief strategy officer Christina Suriadjaja. Travelio